Representative Jackie Cilley Endorses Mindi
Statement of Support for Mindi Messmer for Congress
From Rep. Jackie Cilley
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
"As I have watched the field of candidates for CD1 unfold over these past few months in the wake of Representative Carol Shea Porter’s announcement to retire from Congress, I have been impressed by those who have come forward to offer their service. With nine high-quality candidates I’ve been equally struck by the “embarrassment of riches” the Democratic Party can boast. If this field is any indication of what we can expect in November of this year it portends welcoming relief from what our country has endured over these past 18 months.
However, as good as the overall field is, there is one candidate who has stood out for me, one who resonates with me on a deep and personal level. That candidate is Mindi Messmer, who we have just seen make formal her bid for the First Congressional District of NH.
There are two separate but interwoven conditions that I look for in a candidate to whom I will give my time, energy, and most especially my vote. The first is the candidate’s position on policy issues about which I am passionate. Having been an elected official myself, I have dedicated myself to specific policies and could only support a candidate with whom I feel fully in alignment. The other area is the personal characteristics of the candidate and I will speak to that in a moment.
The most important policy issues for me are those that speak to economic justice. I believe the only way we prosper as a society and as an economy is if our workers receive the respect they deserve, and that respect begins by shielding their ability to organize and it includes providing livable wages, safe working conditions, strong benefits such as healthcare as well as family/medical leave. Our working men and women built this country and they toil every day to ensure that we continue to enjoy the highest living standard in the industrialized world. They have earned our respect, our support, and our willingness to protect their ability to be heard.
Mindi believes that, too. As the daughter of a Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 1199 Vice President in NYC, an emergency room nurse who was responsible for a historic union settlement with a hospital blocking nurses from returning to their jobs, Mindi saw firsthand how unions can be the great equalizer in controversies with large institutions. As the granddaughter of the man who started the Brewer’s Union at the Rheingold plant in the Bronx following the death of his friend on the job, Mindi learned early on how unions succeed in making the workplace safer for employees. And, as the daughter and granddaughter on her father’s side of members of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, she has seen how strong unions have built our middle class. Furthermore, Mindi is herself a member of the National Writers Union.
Mindi was born and raised by workers who had a keen sense of strength in numbers and the benefits of organizing. She believes in the preservation of strong collective bargaining rights and she stands for the principle that if you enjoy the benefits of a unionized workplace, you should pay your fair share for those benefits. She has fully embraced a progressive platform which includes a minimum wage of at least $15 per hour as well as robust benefits. She believes in and has voted for policies reflecting economic justice. I have every confidence that Mindi will fight for the policies I, and our working men and women, care most about in this regard.
But here’s something else Mindi understands: these men and women cannot go off to work each day and concentrate on their jobs if they are worried about their family’s safety. As the only scientist in this race, Mindi knows firsthand the emotional, physical and financial toll environmental hazards inflict upon both working families and the poor, in whose backyards the origins of contaminants are frequently located. These families, and especially the children who are most often affected, have no voice. That is why Mindi has determined to be their champion.
Mindi brings a unique perspective on the hazards we are facing as a state. I’ve watched her fight for responsible legislation to ensure our families receive the protections they deserve to have against corporate polluters that wreak havoc on the lives of our citizens, often robbing them of loved ones.
And that brings me to the second factor that moved me onto the Mindi team – that is the absolute passion and determination she has shown to make a real difference in the lives of real people. Mindi has worked tirelessly over the past two years as a New Hampshire State Representative to bring a bright spotlight onto the problems of PFAs in water supplies in the seacoast area, contaminants that may well be at the heart of a number of cancer cases. Despite being counseled to not bring legislation forward as a freshman Rep, or to focus on only one bill, Representative Messmer brought four bills forward to deal with these issues. She successfully marshaled three of those into law, with the Governor having signed them. In those battles and others, she has shown herself to not only be dogged in her drive to protect her constituents, but she has also proven her bona fides in being able to work in a bipartisan manner to get things done for the citizens of New Hampshire. I personally watched her work very effectively with some of the most conservative members of the NH House. This passion and commitment deserve recognition and respect.
It is for those reasons that I announce my endorsement of Mindi Messmer for CD1 in New Hampshire and dedicate my efforts over the upcoming weeks and months to doing everything in my power to see her as our next Congresswoman. I hope you will join me today and I hope you will reach out to your friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers to inform them of the stellar candidacy of Representative Messmer – a champion of working-class values and someone who will fight for economic, gender, racial, social, criminal and environmental justice when she gets to Washington."